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From James Dwight Dana   4 December 1862


Illness has prevented his reading Origin. He has, however, expressed his [negative] opinion on the subject of mutability of species in his Manual of geology [1862]. Since his persuasions are so strong, he can do no less.

Author:  James Dwight Dana
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  4 Dec 1862
Classmark:  Yale University Library: Manuscripts and Archives (Dana Family Papers (MS 164) Series 1, Box 2, folder 44)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3845

From J. D. Hooker   [14 December 1862]



On Asa Gray’s letter; has written why he avoids alluding to the war.

Has read Max Müller [see 3752] – last part unphilosophical.

On CD’s pigeon example, long-beaked and short-beaked pigeons must be either sterile or not inter se. There is "no such thing as Equality – hence no such thing as chance and Nat. Sel. is the sword of Damocles hanging over your head if you make a slip in your premisses."

Has read note on Lythrum sent several weeks ago. Its consequences are of most prolific order to CD’s doctrine.

Kew has no wild gooseberries.

JDH praises the Saturday Review reply [14 (1862): 589] to the Duke of Argyll’s bitter review of Orchids ["The supernatural", Edinburgh Rev. 116 (1862): 378–97].

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [14 Dec 1862]
Classmark:  DAR 101: 83–4
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3846

From John Scott   6 December [1862]



JS not ready to publish on Primula.

Some of his objections to natural selection are based on belief that plants with separate sexes are less variable than those in which sexes are confluent (as in ferns).

Sends his paper on fern varieties [Edinburgh New Philos. J. 2d ser. 16 (1862): 209–27].

Will soon read paper on Drosera irritability [Edinburgh New Philos. J. 2d ser. 17 (1863): 317–18].

How does CD explain capricious distribution of irritability among plants?

P. scotica’s non-dimorphism is native.

Beginning Laelia experiments shortly.

Author:  John Scott
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  6 Dec [1862]
Classmark:  DAR 108: 182a–d
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3847

From Asa Gray   9 December 1862


Has forwarded Mitchella roots and Cypripedium.

Author:  Asa Gray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  9 Dec 1862
Classmark:  DAR 165: 125
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3850

From Julius von Haast   9 December 1862


Will try to procure specimens of native rat and frog for CD. Will be glad to make observations for him.

Cites case of a species of duck that normally nests on ground but builds in trees if disturbed.

Author:  John Francis Julius (Julius) von Haast
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  9 Dec 1862
Classmark:  LS
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3851

From Edinburgh Royal Medical Society   [before 12 December 1862]


A diploma enrolling CD as an honorary member of the Society.

Author:  Edinburgh Royal Medical Society
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [before 12 Dec 1862]
Classmark:  DAR 229: 6
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3853F

From J. D. Hooker   [21 December 1862]



"Throttled off" Welwitschia paper at Linnean Society [Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond. 24 (1863): 1–48].

Has read Tocqueville’s Democracy in America [1835–40] – disagrees with it. Tocqueville says democracy in America is a success. Democracy has persisted because there has been no cause for its overthrow (i.e., no struggle for existence, too much mobility).

Sends J. W. Dawson’s unsatisfactory letter.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [21 Dec 1862]
Classmark:  DAR 101: 80–2
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3856

From A. C. Ramsay   13 December 1862


Sends 3d ed. of catalogue of rocks [A descriptive catalogue of the rock specimens in the Museum of Practical Geology (1862)].

T. F. Jamieson’s paper on the parallel roads of Glen Roy to be read 20 January. Asks whether CD will be a referee.

Author:  Andrew Crombie Ramsay
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  13 Dec 1862
Classmark:  DAR 176: 10
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3857

From E. A. Darwin   14 December [1862?]


Describes a box which has come for CD.

Asks for John Price’s address.

Author:  Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  14 Dec [1862?]
Classmark:  DAR 105 (ser. 2): 12
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3859

From John Lubbock   15 December 1862


Thinks Bates’s paper on mimetic butterflies ["Contributions to an insect fauna of the Amazon valley", Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond. 23 (1862): 495–566], is very good; would appreciate an article on it from CD ["On mimetic butterflies", Nat. Hist. Rev. (1863): 219–24; Collected papers 2: 87–92].

Author:  John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  15 Dec 1862
Classmark:  DAR 170: 34
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3862

From J. B. Innes   16 December [1862]


News of family and friends.

Saw a white rabbit with black-tipped ears on a moor where only brown ones commonly and black ones occasionally dwell.

Author:  John Brodie Innes
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  16 Dec [1862]
Classmark:  DAR 167: 10
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3863

From John Scott   17 December [1862]


Thanks for Journal of researches and Origin.

Thanks CD for comments on his fern paper [see 3847 and 3853]; has great difficulty in expressing his ideas.

Discusses inheritance and variation.

Asks CD for an account of the experiments he would like JS to perform.

Author:  John Scott
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  17 Dec [1862]
Classmark:  DAR 177: 80
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3865

From John Lubbock   18 December 1862


Thanks CD for agreeing to review Bates’s paper for Natural History Review.

Author:  John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  18 Dec 1862
Classmark:  DAR 170: 35
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3867

From Francis Boott   22 December [1862]


Has had news from Asa Gray about Civil War.

Belatedly thanks CD for Orchids, which shows CD to be the successor to Gilbert White.

Author:  Francis Boott
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  22 Dec [1862]
Classmark:  DAR 160: 251
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3873

From J. D. Hooker   [23 March 1862]



Lighthearted thoughts on "the development of an Aristocracy" after a visit to Walcot Hall, Shropshire.

On CD’s point about the effect of changed conditions on the reproductive organs, JDH does not see why this is not "itself a variation, not necessarily induced by domestication, but accompanying some variety artificially selected".

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [23 Mar 1862]
Classmark:  DAR 101: 27–9; American Philosophical Society Library (Hooker papers, B/H76.2)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3480

From J. D. Hooker   [23–5 March 1862]



Identifies Calanthe masuca.

Asa Gray would not quarrel with them – "snubbing from us may have done him more good than our sympathy".

If CD means the old Vaucher, he was considered a very accurate, acute, able observer.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [23–5 Mar 1862]
Classmark:  DAR 101: 30
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3483

From Thomas Francis Jamieson   24 March 1862


Writes with an important fact about the parallel roads of Glen Roy. The watershed at Makoul corresponds with the lowermost of the Glen Roy lines. Over a stretch of 20 miles from east to west the lowermost of the Glen Roy lines is near parallel with the present sea level.

Author:  Thomas Francis Jamieson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  24 Mar 1862
Classmark:  Edinburgh University Library, Centre for Research Collections (Gen. 112/2834–5)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3483F

From Henry Holland   26 March [1862]


Gives CD advice on the illness of one of his sons [presumably Horace].

Author:  Henry Holland
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  26 Mar [1862]
Classmark:  DAR 166.2: 241
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3485

From J. D. Hooker   [after 26 March 1862?]



Variations are centrifugal because the chances are a million to one that identity of form once lost will return.

In the human race, we find no reversion "that would lead us to confound a man with his ancestors".

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [after 26 Mar 1862?]
Classmark:  DAR 47: 214
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3486

From H. G. Bronn   27 March 1862


CD can add revisions since he cannot begin work on 2d German ed. of Origin until May.

Schweizerbart wants to publish translation of Orchids. Asks for woodcuts for illustrations.

Author:  Heinrich Georg Bronn
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  27 Mar 1862
Classmark:  DAR 160.3: 320
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3487
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